The Best Sakura Story Doesn’t Come From The Anime Or The Manga

naruto is a manga and anime juggernaut, and easily one of the best-known franchises in the world. After running for fifteen years, the naruto manga finally ended in 2014, ending one of the most successful series of Weekly Shonen Jump. The anime will end three years later, marking the end of an era, although a series of sequels called Boruto: Naruto Next Generations would appear immediately to fill the void.

After the manga ended, a bunch of additional material came out to fill in the gaps between the end of naruto and the start of Boruto. Among these are the Naruto Hiden books, a collection of light novels set after the end of naruto. Instead of focusing on the main character Naruto Uzumaki, the novels instead focused on the many supporting characters that appeared throughout the series. Sakura Hide (known as Sakura’s Story in English) is a novel that focuses on Sakura Haruno, the teammate and close friend of Naruto and Sasuke Uchiha. Since Sakura doesn’t get as much attention in the main series as Naruto and Sasuke, this novel gives her a rare chance to be in the spotlight.

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Picture of Sakura Hiden

Early in the story, Sakura is working on developing a therapy center for children’s mental health. At the same time, she worries about her relationship with Sasuke, who is constantly on the move and rarely comes into contact with her. When she goes to Suna to explain her medical findings at the therapy center, she learns from Gaara that a man appearing to be Sasuke has approached people asking for help in overthrowing Konohagakure.

At the same time, mysterious attacks on high officials put the Sixth Hokage Kakashi Hatake on alert. As these two mysteries are investigated, Sakura and her friends begin to uncover an insidious plot carried out below the surface by ninjas from their own village involving drugs that allow its users to use Tailed Beast Chakra. As the plot is finally uncovered, Sakura and her allies must act quickly to stop Sasuke from putting himself in harm’s way.

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Illustration of Sakura Hiden insert

As the main character of the novel, Sakura naturally plays a very big role in the story. As a point-of-view character, the audience gets a lot of insight into Sakura’s thoughts, especially her work with the medical center but also her relationship with Sasuke. The novel offers a perspective on their relationship that isn’t really explored in the main series, and it features much of Sakura’s struggle to be in love with someone who isn’t there. This idea completes Sakura as a character in terms of personality and thought process.

Sakura is also active in helping uncover the plot within Konohagakure, especially once it turns out that Sasuke might be involved. She ends up coming into conflict with the main villains of the novel and is forced to fight for her life. When it turns out that the conspirators are trying to target Sasuke, she goes to great lengths to protect him and even manages to defeat the main antagonist in a single-player one-on-one fight. Overall, Sakura is seen as a much more active character than the version of her we see in the manga and anime.

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Sakura in battle against Hiruko

In the main series, audiences rarely see Sakura in a significant role, even though she is a member of Team 7 along with Naruto and Sasuke. For most manga and anime, Sakura often sits on the sidelines, or even more often just absent from major fights. Also, compared to the ridiculous powers Naruto and Sasuke get over the course of the series, Sakura is far more underwhelming in terms of strength and ability, despite being far stronger than the average ninja. Its relevance to the main plot is also greatly reduced as the narrative focuses more on Naruto and Sasuke and their rivalry. In the end, despite being a major character at first, Sakura is quickly relegated to a supporting character for no reason.

In general, Sakura has much more time to develop in the novel, and she is responsible for defeating the main villain. It gives Sakura the limelight she sorely missed throughout the original series and allows fans to see a lot more of a character who should have had more screen time. Of particular note is the fact that Sakura was able to defeat the main villain on her own, without needing help from her friends. In comparison, Sakura in the anime has very few fights, and most of them have her fighting in duos or groups. It shows Sakura in a much stronger and more capable light, which is more than what she gets in the main series.

MORE: Why Naruto’s First Hokage Was Probably The Strongest


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